How to Make Dry Shampoo With Baking Soda and Cornstarch

home made dry shampoo
Erin Huffstetler

Dry shampoo is a quick fix for dirty hair, when you don't have time to wash it, but it can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you use it often. And let's get real: if you're trying to keep things natural these days, you may not want to fool with all the can't-pronounce-it ingredients found in many store-bought dry shampoos. 

Fortunately, making your own dry shampoo is a quick and easy project, and it only requires a couple ingredients. Here's a basic recipe that works well— and can be tweaked to suit your specific needs. It's aerosol-free, and made from all-natural ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Give it a try, and see what you think.

How to Make Dry Shampoo 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda​
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • A mixing bowl
  • A shaker

This basic recipe literally takes about five minutes to make, as long as you have the ingredients on hand. Just mix the baking soda and the cornstarch together in a mixing bowl. Then, transfer your dry shampoo to a shaker. Use a large salt shaker, an empty spice jar or an empty Parmesan cheese container to store your dry shampoo. This will give you an easy way to sprinkle it in your hair, and it's something that can be sealed tight between uses, so you won't have any messy spills to clean up.

How to Use Dry Shampoo

To use your dry shampoo, apply a small amount at the roots, using your fingers. Then, work it through your hair with your fingers and/or a hairbrush. You can also use a makeup brush to apply the shampoo, if you prefer. Consider storing your dry shampoo in a wide, shallow jar, if this is your preferred application method. It'll make it easy for you to dip your brush in.

Wondering how this dry shampoo works? The baking soda and cornstarch mixture will absorb the oils on your scalp, and make your hair look like it's just been washed. Use a makeup brush (or your hair brush) to remove any excess dry shampoo when you're done, and you're good to go for another day.

Tweaking the Basic Dry Shampoo Recipe

If you don't have cornstarch in your pantry, use arrowroot powder, or finely-ground (plain) oatmeal as a substitute. Simply pulse some oatmeal in a food processor to achieve the right consistency.Then, follow the rest of the recipe as written. Just don't use straight baking soda on your head. It's too strong on its own, and could irritate your scalp and damage your hair. If you want to get fancy, you can also make dry shampoo from bentonite clay and baking soda. It's available at natural food stores and online.

Prefer a scented dry shampoo? Adding your own fragrance is easy. Just stir a few drops of essential oil into the basic recipe. Be sure to add the drops one at a time, to avoid over-scenting your shampoo. Lavender oil is a favorite for dry shampoo. Lemon, Ylang Ylang and peppermint are are few other options to consider. All of these oils contribute to healthy hair. Of course, one of the benefits of making your own dry shampoo is that you can make it your own. So, play around a bit, and you may just come up with your own signature fragrance.

Just be sure to label your dry shampoo, so no one accidentally uses it for cooking. This is especially important, if you plan to add essential oils to yours. Most essential oils are toxic when ingested.

Dry Shampoo for People With Dark Hair

If you have dark hair, you might notice that dry shampoo leaves an unsightly white "ring" around your roots. Not to worry; this problem is easily remedied by adding natural coloring agents to the shampoo recipe.

Try cocoa for brown hair and red clay for red hair. Cinnamon can work if your hair is reddish brown, or if you have lots of red highlights. Experiment to see which options looks the best with your hair and skin coloring. If cinnamon is the winner, it'll have the added benefit of making your dry shampoo smell nice.

Like the Idea of Homemade Haircare Products?

Then, be sure to try this hair spray recipe and this hair gel recipe.